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Boreal Community Media

Care Center gets new names for its household wings

Jul 27, 2018 07:18AM ● By Editor

By Brian Larsen from The Cook County News Herald - July 27, 2018

At the hospital board’s July 19 meeting North Shore Hospital/Care Center administrator Kimber Wraalstad announced to the board that the Care Center’s two households have new names, Woods and Waves. Members of the resident council chose the names during the May resident council meeting after discussing several alternative names.

A discussion led by Vera Schumann, chief financial officer, was held concerning policies regarding financial assistance and collections that require annual review and approval by the hospital board.

Schumann noted policies have been updated to reflect the changed facility position title, to incorporate the 2018 Federal Poverty guidelines, and added that some typographical errors were corrected.

The board reviewed the hospital’s zero debt policy, bad debt collection, debt collection agency policy, debt collection litigation/garnishment and financial assistance program and unanimously passed a motion supporting the policy with the noted changes.

Purchase of service contract

Administrator Wraalstad introduced the annual Purchase of Service Contract between the hospital and Cook County Public Health and Human Services.

The contract allows the county to purchase home health care services for clients who are receiving care on a sliding fee basis and don’t meet the requirements for reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid.

The county will provide payments up to $25,000 to NSH only if there is no other payer that can make the payment.

This is the same amount as last year but less than the 2015 payment of $40,000.

A discussion was held about the parking lot lighting. Chris Lange, director of maintenance reported he has received information and price estimates. Lange has reached out to Bryan Hansel to review and discuss the five alternatives identified.

Quality Resources

Jennifer Dowden, quality improvement coordinator, shared information from the Minnesota Hospital Association regarding the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network that is part of the Partnership for Patients initiative. North Shore Health is participating in several topics being developed to improve patient safety.

Patient and family engagement measures were also discussed. The hospital association mission is to “Include always. That’s what we aim to do. Include patients and families at every level throughout the health care system. Through conversations, sharing ideas, and inviting the patient in the outcome will be better health care for everyone,” said Dowden.

Financial report

Vera Schumann gave the June 2018 financial report. North Shore Health had an income from operations for the month of June of $220,123, performing $218,129 more than budget. The year-todate operating loss is $735,936, which is $321,834 less than budget.

Schumann noted the significant increase in the number of swing bed days; outpatient services and ER resulted in the positive operating margin for the month.

The care center occupancy was 100 percent in June.

Total year-to-date expenses are $8,954,074, above budget by $307,614.

The variance results from hiring staff with the addition of in-house EMTs and the very busy ER volume resulting in overtime.

Cash remains strong at 153.9 days.

Notice of filing for election

Three hospital board seats are up for election this year. The filing period for District 1, District 3 and District 5 begins Tuesday, July 31 and ends Tuesday, August 14.

Work is progressing on the 2019-2021 strategic plan, said Wraalstad. Strategies and priorities have been discussed and developed by the administrative team and are being shared with department leadership to develop “smart goals” that will support the plan.

Wraalstad said the objective was to have the updated strategic plan completed in time to use in setting the 2019 budget.

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